One of our trainers, Tara , created this simple yet effective breath meditation that we can practice to keep our stress levels in check. It helps kids who need a visual to understand what we mean by using our breath.
You can follow it with them and guide them to do to.
Simply use each number for an in or out breath (starting at 1).
So 1 = in breath and 2 = out-breath and so on.
Once they’ve done it a few times, they can also imagine the tree in their heads and imagine doing an in/out breath for each branch of the tree.
If you want to get creative, you could get them to stop at 6 and think about about having energy roots … or at the end taking the golden star on the top of the tree into their hearts.
How mindfulness helps you ‘see’ your kids and teens
I was inspired to write this after reading a blog from NY psychotherapist, Katherine Schafler, about the 4 unconscious questions a person asks themselves. The one that connected with me the most was about ‘being seen’.
As a child I grew up in a culture where ‘children should be seen and not heard’. This attitude may have been exclusive to the Victorian/Scottish parenting style at the time, but as an adult, it has left me with lots of thoughts and feelings to work through and process – sometimes with the help of a therapist or my meditation practice.
I am also a foster carer and one of the key things I’ve learned is that ‘being seen’ is essential in order to have a connection with the children we care for.
I believe that my mindfulness skills, my personal meditation practice and my ability to introduce a ‘teaching meditation’ to the kids we care for in a way that meets their needs and abilities (and interests) has helped us start to build a an emotional and mental bridge between the world and kids in our care so that they can connect to the world around them in a more kind, loving and caring way.